Grey nomads could solve rural job vacancy problem

Published: May 5, 2021

Grey nomads have been identified as the possible solution to the huge employment vacancy problem across regional Queensland.

The State Government believes mature-aged travellers could hold the key to filling tens of thousands of jobs, and it’s urging the Commonwealth to examine tax laws to allow them to work without damaging their pension and superannuation payments.

Treasurer Cameron Dick told the Courier-Mail that taxation issues needed to be looked at.

“It probably comes down to that point you make about taxation and super, to ensure that people who are willing to work are not penalised through the taxation system to allow them to do that work, so that’s a proposal the Federal Government should be looking at,” he said. “If we’ve got grey nomads willing to stay in a community for an extended period of time, to be part of that workforce then I think we should be encouraging that through the taxation system.”

The Treasurer said there was ‘a whole range of mechanisms that we should be looking at as a nation to try and support ensuring there’s a skilled workforce in those communities that need it’.

The Courier-Mail reports that an estimated 35,000 jobs-plus are currently unfilled across regional Queensland, the highest number of job vacancies since the global financial crisis.

Longreach Mayor Tony Rayner told the Courier-Mail that he wanted the State and Federal governments to explore how places like Longreach could potentially use the 50,000 grey nomads streaming through the town each year.

“Collectively, we have to work together to resolve that and that might be a case of not only looking at some of the schemes like the Pacific Island labour strategy scheme but looking at the grey nomads that are retired professionals,” he told The Courier-Mail. “How many of those are interested in part-time, casual work and can we have those fill the gap.”

He agreed that the way working might impact a person’s superannuation and other finances should be investigated.

“It is both a state and federal government responsibility but collectively, with local government, we need to work together to resolve an issue that’s impacting on all three tiers of government,” he said. “And it’s a good problem to have: Too many jobs, not enough people.

  • Would you be more likely to work while travelling if there were less ‘scary’ superannuation and tax implications? Comment below.
  • See our list of job vacancies for grey nomads here.
  • We now have a Grey Nomads Instagram page. Please click here to follow us.
51 Comments
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Raymond Stokes
1 year ago

I know people already work & are willing to work in Regional areas , Tax Breaks should be looked after they’ve retired paid taxes why not Encourage All Australians to roll up their sleeves for Australian Farmers etc . . Without Being Slogged by The ATO & Pensioners deserve Respect..

Lea Wilding
1 year ago
Reply to  Raymond Stokes

EXACTLY !! Why should the GN be punished for helping out when most have worked hard all their life and paid taxes. The governement has made it to easy for the ones that choose not to work.

Gary Seen
1 year ago
Reply to  Raymond Stokes

Don’t we have a work bonus off $7300.00 a year before our pensions are touched

Marlene smith
1 year ago

Yes absolutely

Kaye
1 year ago

Am so pleased to know there are many employers now happy to give grey a chance, so much we can do and happy to contribute.

Maria
1 year ago

Fantastic idea. We’re skilled and able but not if it means losing our pension.

hannu
1 year ago
Reply to  Maria

Totally agree. Would be happy to assist rural farmers where possible as long as Centrelink make the pensions negative

Don vogel
1 year ago

I plan on working my way as we do a slow lap, and it has better not affect my super. Here’s an idea, for all its grey nomads who worked out while life, paid taxes, and are self financed for our retirements, give us the pension to like other countries, the UK FOR EXAMPLE. We’ve worked so we deserve the pension, regardless of personnel wealth.
But back on topic, yes please let us work if we want, but without any penalty.

Kathy Leitch
1 year ago

Yes, Absolutely. I would work ,only I get penalized for doing so.
Fruit picking jobs would be great for me .

Carole
1 year ago

Yep good idea. I wouldn’t mind paying the backpacker tax but the paperwork required for pensioners would look be dreadful as earning the larger amount in a short time would affect it all.

Chris
1 year ago

Yes. Collectively we have such a wide range of skills and experiences. I would be happy for most of it top up my superannuation to use for the future. Many women took time off to raise children, were in the lower superannuation bracket and for a time had unequal pay.

Diane
1 year ago

Why would it affect our super, when we don’t get a pension.

pam
1 year ago
Reply to  Diane

Absolutely Diane. I don’t get a pension, like many others I am self funded, so what difference would it make?

Gary
1 year ago
Reply to  Diane

I’m a self funded retired as well and I think the issue is the rate of tax we would have to pay on wages. I think we have to be taxed at the highest rate.

Kevin odonovan
1 year ago

If I did not loose pension. I would gladly help out.

Kelvin
1 year ago
Reply to  Kevin odonovan

You get $330 a fortnight tax free. You also build up a money each fortnight without working. Till you work off this money you get what you earn taken off the fortnightly amount then the balance comes of what you have built up. For example i have built up over $8000 in credits so it would take quite a while to get rid of these credits.

Sunil
1 year ago
Reply to  Kelvin

Quite correct.

Graham
1 year ago

100% at this stage in life knowledge and dedication are second nature, the hours may be shortened but the ability is still there

Ric Moffet
1 year ago

My wife and I did the Blaze Aid thing for a year, back in 2018, during the drought, and it was great, but we were flat out. It was good to get something for it, which was our site fees and meals, but earning extra money for working for farmers would help greatly, so long as we were treated with respect, we would do it again. I wouldn’t stump, putting up with bad employers though like we have heard that the backpackers have had to deal with. If the Federal Govt., gave an incentative to us to go work for them, then I reckon they would fill those 35000 jobs real quickly, but I am pretty sure, they, the Govt., wont come to the party, as it is a commonsense idea, and they don’t have any commonsense.

Nigel
1 year ago

So you think that it is alright to get a pension and be able to work as well. That is double dipping. I have been out of work since August and can’t get a local job and do not qualify for job search and have to live on my savings, so I don’t support this action.

Possum.
1 year ago
Reply to  Nigel

Better to work legitimately and pay normal taxes instead of cash in hand – most self funded retirees would have a go if they weren’t penalised for doing so. It would be better for Govt coffers by paying tax and delaying the retirees going on to full pensions.

keith gillespie
1 year ago
Reply to  Nigel

Iam sorry Nigel doesnt have a job, however, we don’t know where he lives. Question Nigel::can you travel to these country areas?.
The Govt allows pensioners to earn a certain amount without effecting the pension.

Keith Murfet
1 year ago
Reply to  Nigel

Nigel there is no way it is double dipping. You WORK for what you EARN. People on a ‘normal’ wage get paid extra for working overtime without affecting their base rate. What’s the difference?

Rob
1 year ago
Reply to  Nigel

I worked hard all my life. Saved a lot and didn’t piss it against the wall like my workmates (my choice). They get the pension I don’t . They could have saved like I did. Is it fair they get the pension and I don’t. Even the pension side benefits would be something. This country is full of people who are jealous of those who have what they want but don’t want to work for it. Everybody should get the pension regardless of assetts. The government doesn’t want you to be independent because then they couldn’t attempt to buy your vote. So we get poor government because of the intelligence of the people who vote for them.

Brett Barnett
1 year ago

Count me in I, would retire tomorrow if this was to happen. Hopefully, there would be some jobs for mechanical engineers with 40 years of experience.

K T
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett Barnett

Hi Brett,
If OK with you it would be interesting to keep in contact re your mechanical expertise. look forward to hearing from you.
Cheers

Gloria
1 year ago

Great idea. We don’t mind working and it would help us travel more

Ric Moffet
1 year ago

Nigel, then go out to the farmers , who are crying out for workers, then you wont be unemployed. If the govt., want us to go back to work, then they would have to pay me extra to do that. The pension, is not a working wage to live on flogging an old age person, doing hard farm work. If they topped up our pension to equal the working wage, that would be fair,

Ric Moffet
1 year ago

And only pay tax, on the extra we receive, not the pension we already get, that would be the fairest deal.

Jeff Terry
1 year ago

I am self-employed and would love to employ experienced retired people to work in my business, but they always want cash and that is not possible. Bring it on, don’t penalise them, tax should be a flat rate and income should not affect pension or super.

MikeP
1 year ago

Yes, definitely. Farmers need all the help they can get.

Rod Gray
1 year ago

I remember years ago i worked two jobs, one under a false name but still paid tax. Niwadays if yiu donr use your tax file number you dont work. So its not from lack of wanting OR able to, but losing our entitlements after all the years working taking up jobs younger peopke refuse to take up instead of staying on the unemployment and surfing all day.

Barry Morton
1 year ago

We the pensioners/ grey nomads and one and all are the government . Those who we elect should stop talking the talk and walk the walk and allow those who travel and wish to work to help them selves and the farmers etc, etc should be allowed immediately if there is such a shortage of workers?? After all aren’t we all Australians and hasn’t this COVID not taught us anything? We were an independent generation with dignity so dump the red tape fir if we earn we spend so it all goes around. Everyone benefits?

Ray Spindler
1 year ago

I did do it once and reported all income on a weekly basis.Toward the end of my employment the ATO knocked me off my pension and cancelled all concession cards.
When we got home it took over three months to get reinstated on the pension, not withstanding the income that I had earnt became deplete.
Not worth the hoop jumping and the same questions over and over to prove I was not rooting the system.

Dave
1 year ago

Maybe if Qld didn’t close their borders every time some one in another state sneezes the problem might not be so bad – just saying!

ERIC JOHNSON
1 year ago

They are not offering work to us out of generosity, it’s because they can’t get anyone else to do it, I applied in Margaret River, but it’s not worth the effort with the tax you pay and the loss of pension

Mackay Bruce
1 year ago

Happy to stay and work in rural towns for extended period as long as I do not lose Penison payment and have to report earnings every fortnight

Maggie
1 year ago

It’s nothing to do with border closures and everything to do with being able to earn some extra dosh to spend as we tour around without getting the pathetic part-pension pittance hammered by the Feds. All the ability in the world – no incentives.

Tony Lee
1 year ago

More than a few entitled people here who want to have the best of both worlds. Pension AND wage. Maybe more logical and fairer if the farmers could discount the wages by the amount of pension received.

Keith Murfet
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Lee

We can receive the pension by just sitting on our backsides and waiting for happy hour. Or we can get out and WORK to get a little extra which in turn boosts the local economy. We’re not asking for anything extra – just to be allowed to retain what we EARN.

Len Sorrell
1 year ago

Back in the 1980’s we travelled through out China and unlike Australia, they had NO un-employment.
If there was a job to be filled on the other side of the country the Government gave you a train ticket, an address and a starting date and that was that!
Maybe if those on government benefits in Australia were willing to work this scheme may be viable – “what work in the bush miles away from my Coffee Club; you gotta be kidding mate!”

Keith Murfet
1 year ago

I’ve tried emailing the local Federal member in this regard with only a negative response. I’ve now emailed the local State member who has promised to contact the Federal Shadow Minister. The more I EARN the more I am penalised by losing my pension. At the very least the threshold needs to be raised to a more acceptable level. I’m not asking for more money – just to be allowed to keep what I earn. This not only boosts the local economy but also helps out those businesses desperate for workers.

Pam Silvester
1 year ago

I am a 71 year old, energetic Grey nomad. As I have worked on farms and in packing sheds for 6 years in Australia, and farmed in NZ, for most of a 40 year period, I miss this life, but had to retire at the age of 70 with a prolapsed disc problem. With having to be on the age pension, I am only able to make $77 a week above my pension, so this makes it impossible to work again. I would so love to be able to help out with any job, as I like challenges and changes.

Gunars Juskevics
1 year ago

Absolutely.

SooB
1 year ago

If you haven’t made any earnings on the pension in the last year you CAN earn $6000 in total before it affects your pension…go to Centrelink website to check.

David Elson
1 year ago

Check out the Work Bonus Scheme ? I would be very interested in hearing from anyone who has used this scheme. I for one would be more than happy to work out in rural positions as long as the paper trail is not to demanding and i can retain full pension as it would only be seasonal work.

Kevin Barry
1 year ago

Cash in the hand ….or payment in vouchers ( fuel..groceries..accommodation)

Kevin
1 year ago

I would love to be out there helping I am a retired farmer have farmed all of my life but SHREK would come after me with all claws out I am also a licensed sports shooter and could help to eradicate feral pests. All for it so come on SCOMO give us a go without penalty.

Dave4562
1 year ago

If there are 35,000 jobs, where are they listed? I put my name up six months ago as a smart cooky, ag engineer, heavy truck licence, can read/write, still waiting. The GNT listing are not the jobs that the treasurer is talking about, where is the list? or is this some political gaming?

Paul
1 year ago

The suggestion if allowing Grey Nomads to work and not affect their pendion has great merit and is so obviously a way of resolving the worker crises in regional areas throughout Australia. My wife anf I have taken two positions now during our travels. One fortwo months and currently for five months. This still allows us to enjoy travelling. Howver it does affect our pension and restricts the time we can spend working. If this work did not affect our pension we would be willing to work further

Sharon Elaine Olsson
1 year ago

I would be willing depending on taxation and superannuation interfering with my entitlements.

Sheree Harvey
2 months ago

only if the pension is not affected, should just be normal tax paid on income, lots of pensioners would love to still work, younger wives should still be allowed earn the minimum wage without their spouse losing money because of it. Not too many of us are fully funded retirees, we wish.

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